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Scooter Guy

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  1. Sorry...nope, it’s not the Doodle Bug scooter taillight. 


    The one in your photo is for a Whizzer. The two prongs on the back are like that to fit a bicycle fender and the piece that extends from the bottom (with the screw in it) bolts to the bottom center of a bicycle fender. 


    The taillight and license plate bracket unit for a Doodle Bug is not a Bendix, by the way. Bendix only had a generator and headlight for the Doodle Bug scooter which was just an automotive fog lamp fitted with a handlebar clamp. The taillight used with the Bendix kit was usually a Nu-Ray Jr. The Doodle Bug version of the taillight you have is actually a Do-Ray taillight. It could be used with the Bendix generator and headlight, but there was a Do-Ray headlight available also to match  (plus a Make-a-Lite set that used a battery). 


    Yours is similar (I have one also) but not the same as the Do-Ray unit for a Doodle Bug. 

  2. Hi Shelley,


    That is, in fact, a Doodle Bug scooter but it has undergone many changes over the years with lots of bits and pieces being stripped or broken off. 


    It is actually fairly common to see them in this kind of condition. The sheet metal pieces (front fender, rear fender, side panels) are almost always gone as are the original gas tank and mounting brackets. In addition, your particular scooter also has had the motor plate and the floor board modified and your engine was replaced with a much newer model. There are other non-original parts on this such as the grips, hand controls and tires - but again, that's quite common. 


    Most of what you have is simply representative of how the scooters were modified over the years to keep them on the road long after the original components were worn out or broken. It can all be fixed.


    One word of warning, however, before you go too deep into this. The front end of your scooter is probably bent. It does not appear that you would have adequate clearance between the front fender and the (missing) correct floor board if you were to restore this. This is a very common problem with these scooters as they were typically ridden by young people that crashed them, raced them, and generally just beat them up and literally "loved them to death." This, too, can be fixed, if you really want to take a deep dive into this. 


    Please don't take this as a criticism of what you have. What you have on your hands is typical of a small 70+ year old scooter. It's cool that you've got it and are doing something with it!

  3. Most insurance companies (even Geico, Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, etc., etc.) will sell you insurance for whatever vehicle you want, so long as you are willing to pay their price for it. There are always exceptions, but I have never not been offered a quote from an insurance company when interested in buying insurance.


    But...not all policies are created equal and you need to know what you're buying. Your choice of specific policy has a direct correlation to what happens when you have a claim. That is, in my opinion, more important than what company's name you're buying from. 


    Also, one thing to watch out for: "stated value" (some companies call this "declared value") is not the same as "agreed value" to most insurance companies. I know some people that have gone through a lot of heartache because they didn't know the difference when they filed a claim. Stated value is where your policy starts, at a value you state to the insurance company. But stated value policies factor in depreciation and when you file a claim you can end up with the stated value amount or actual cash value (ACV being what it is worth at the time of the claim) - but that amount will be whichever is less, as determined by the insurance company. Agreed value is what most collectors want and what is often confused for stated value insurance. With agreed value, you and the insurance company agreed on a guaranteed value for the vehicle and that amount will be paid by the insurance company in the event of a total loss. 


    At the end of the day, make sure you understand what type of policy you are buying so you know what happens when there is a claim. 

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  4. Interesting topic.


    My wife has spent her career in the museum business as a curator at a well-known museum. It is very common for people to misunderstand loans to museums vs. donations to museums. A lot of people think of a museum as being the "forever" home of whatever they are donating...to be maintained and displayed literally forever and then get upset when they learn that is not the case. A good museum will make sure the donor understands that up front:


    When an object is donated, be it a car or a fountain pen, it's donated - as in you gave it away and relinquished ownership. I'm sure someone can cite an exception, but generally speaking a museum will not accept a donation that comes in with a bunch of strings attached or donor stipulations. If you still want control over "your" object, it's best not to donate it at all and museums often have to tell potential donors that. Loans for a specified display period work better for those people that want to retain control of their objects and where they end up.  


    Don't confuse a museum for a caretaker in perpetuity, either. That's not something that they can promise, and if they do, donors should be wary. Objects do get sold and traded off on occasion. Museums do go out of business or hit financial hard times that require liquidating assets which can mean selling what you've donated. They are not vaults with unlimited resources to care for your donated things forever.  

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  5. Email the new owner of Fox Grips, Mike, at foxgrips@yahoo.com 


    He has posted his name and email publicly here, so I'm not sharing private contact information:



    He has the mold for the Doodle Bug grips you need and can make them in white, as per original. 


    It does not seem that a website ever materialized. Most of the business seems to be running through eBay. 

  6. Jonny D - 

    You have your gas tank mounted correctly. It is supposed to sit high, up at the back of the seat like that. There are factory photos and manuals that show this. It does still "work" if the tank is mounted lower, with the brackets being upside down and I see a lot of scooters like that, but it is supposed to be mounted high and the tank tucked in close. 


    The stripe of the side covers is just over 1/8" wide, but not quite 3/16". Nobody will probably ever take a ruler to your side cover to check, but if you really want it accurate, that's the measurement to go for.


    Your question about the decals is really a great question. I have studied this for years trying to determine what was originally done and what is correct. The only conclusion I have from all of that is that they were very inconsistent and there were constant changes, thus many variations in what decals were applied and where. There are original scooters and factory photos and publications showing almost every configuration possible. It seems that many, but not all, Doodle Bugs had the Doodle Bug logo on only the left hand side. The only consistent thing about the Doodle Bug logo is that the "bug" always faced forward, towards the front of the scooter. On the right hand side was usually, but not always, where the Hiawatha or Western Flyer decal went (was not usually on the left, but not always!). Some Clinton powered scooters came with black tanks, some came with red tanks (mounting brackets were always red, even with a black tank). Some Clinton tanks had decals on the ends, some didn't (this was also true of Briggs tanks). Basically unless you know what the original paint looked like, you can restore yours in virtually any decal configuration and it won't ever be "wrong." 


    Speaking of side covers, you should have small holes on each side for the choke rod. Both side panels should have this. The choke rod for Clinton powered scooters comes out of the left side of the scooter and is a a wire with loop on the end, almost like a coat hanger. The choke rod for a Briggs powered scooter comes out the right side and has a small knob at the end of it (the choke rod on real61ss' scooter is actually a Briggs rod). Most of the side panels also had hole on the right side for the switch to be mounted when using an accessory lighting kit. There was often (but not always!) an aluminum plug used to fill that hole that could be removed if installing a lighting kit. The hole ends up smack in the middle of the Doodle Bug logo!


  7. I think you need to decide what business you want to be in...


    1. Real estate developer (which means building the facility then actually selling the garages/condos)

    2. Landlord (you own it and collect rent for the spaces)

    3. Shop owner (restoration, repair, car wash, whatever...)

    4. Museum operator 

    5. Race track operator

    6. Restaurant operator

    7. Events center operator


    My opinion is that a lot of these concepts fail because there is no focus and the facility is trying to do all of those things at the same time with limited knowledge of most of the various lines of business. It can be done, but the phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none" comes to mind. 


    Personally I see the model used at M1 Concourse to be the best approach - SELL the garage units to individuals thus transferring risk to them (insurance, liability, security, etc.) and then offer shared spaces like the track, skid pad, picnic area for RENT but with blackout periods for garage owner use exclusively. That seems like a much more manageable, and likely sustainable, approach to such a facility. 



  8. There is a facility just south of Fort Worth, Texas called the Motorsports Ranch. 


    It seems to be nearly exactly the sort of thing you're talking about. They have a private road course (two actually), a skid pad, clubhouse, garages (13 buildings worth), and private on-site support businesses of different sorts. There are (apparently separate, third-party?) some stand-alone track side houses available there also. Their website has a lot of information on what they have to offer and what their fee structure is. They don't have a museum, but they seem to check just about every other box that you mentioned. 


    It took A LOT of time and money to get this facility to where it is today. A LOT. It did not happen overnight, rather it took years to develop the facility. If you are serious about pursuing a similar concept, my suggestion is to go visit this facility and try to get them to answer as many questions as you can think of. I don't intend to discourage you but think part of your market research should be to see what your competition has to offer and how they run their operations. They seem to be more "track centric" and with more of a motor sports focus, so less about the garages themselves, but that might be an important take-away for you to consider.I am not a member there but have seen their facility. 

  9. Jim, 


    That Crosley powered scooter is wild. I've had folks send me photos of it before, but it didn't yet have the side car. I had always been told that it wasn't rideable because there was no "transmission" to get the power from the engine to the rear wheels, but clearly that's not the case and the owner figured something out. I'd love to examine it up close to see exactly how he did it. Doesn't offend me at all, by the way. I can certainly appreciate the time, effort, and craftsmanship that goes into a custom or hot rod. My personal tastes tend to be more "purist", but more so than that I'm just a "scooter guy" and like 'em all! 

  10. On 12/29/2018 at 8:32 PM, Jonnyd said:

     My question is about the white striping around the edges of the side panels' are they paint or are they done with tape and also the striping on the front fender.








    As far as I can tell from closely examining the scooters and original parts that I have, the white stripe along the edges of the side skirts was painted on with striping wheel. It does not appear to be tape, but it's very hard to tell on my original scooters. If it was tape it is extremely thin tape and was applied very, very precisely (all things considered). But it sure looks like it was painted on to me. The front fender, on the other hand, appears to have been done with water slide decals. I do know that the "Hiawatha" or "Western Flyer" decals along with the Doodle Bug logo were originally water slide decals. 


    On the Doodle Bugs that I have restored, I have painted on the white side skirt stripe and use a reproduction decal set to do the front fender. Note that on the fender there are two stylized stripes on each side and one that it at the top center of the fender. Some folks miss that 5th stripe that is there. I use reproduction decals from Jim Lovelace or Engine-Decals.com. He sells a lot of eBay, but has reproductions available of all of the Doodle Bug decals, not all of which are always listed on eBay.  Some of what is available from him is because he originally made up a few sets for my restorations. They are not water slide, but no matter...I'm REALLY picky - his decals are nice. 


    That's a nice Model B (Clinton powered scooter) you have. Can't wait to see what it looks like as you get it finished up. It looks good so far!

  11. There have been more than 50,000 views of this thread since originally posted in 2009. Impressive, I'd say. 


    I believe many people have been able to identify, save, or restore their scooters using information posted here to get themselves started. 


    Nothing has been added to this post in just over three years, so it seemed to be time to check in on any new developments. I remain happy to discuss Doodle Bugs and share the information that I have. I'm still buying stuff, too, if you're just wanting to sell your Doodle Bug stuff. 

  12. Wow, I'm sorry to see this.  First, I certainly hope that nobody was injured or killed in the fire. 


    With that said, I suppose the Indian could be saved, but every single surface would need attention. It would certainly be a committed restoration. 


    The Toppers may still have some usable bits for the hardcore Topper guy (that's not me), but saving any of them would be a monumental restoration. I'm not saying it isn't "worth it" to save them, but the cost of parts and restoration on those scooters will easily exceed their value. There are usually a few nice Toppers each year that come up for sale for someone that's looking for one that's complete. These may be best served as parts bikes for someone that's trying to finish a couple of their own. 

  13. You may be interested to know that there has been a Firebaugh that has been for sale for a couple of years in the Vintage Motor Bike Club magazine. Purportedly from the Melody Ranch of Gene Autry and Western movies fame. I have seen that same scooter posted for sale on eBay at different times, too. There is a copy of the for sale ad on the Firebaugh page of the US Scooter Museum (not really a place, just a website). That's probably where you got the photos you posted, as they have identical images posted on their site.See:  Firebaugh - US Scooter Museum


    The Vintage Motor Bike Club meet in Portland, Indiana has had a couple of these there over the years. They are not common, but aren't highly sought after by the scooter and motorcycle collecting crowd. Definitely interesting machines and worth saving, especially for $35. 

  14. Velocity Channel isn't perfect but it's better than 99% of TV offerings. 


    I don't have cable or satellite TV. I do have an Apple TV which works as a streaming device via my internet connection. It lets me pick and choose what I want to watch as if every show was pay-per-view. I can buy one episode or even an entire season for a fraction of what it would cost to have premium cable or satellite TV in order to get Velocity Channel. It is easy to pick what I want to see and skip the terrible shows and fake drama and so on. 


    As for all of the contempt  for Chasing Classic Cars...well, I like the show. Wayne has a neat facility, neat/good employees, the funds to support his business (read as: buy almost whatever he wants), and he has a TV show about all of it to boot. It's a business, he's a businessman, and the show is about his business. I think I'd enjoy being in his shoes, quite frankly. Seems pretty neat. 


    I'm less enthusiastic about other shows, but do like watching Restoration Garage (the Guild show). I skip virtually everything else. 


  15. Jnberg-

    I'm glad that you posted photos. It is indeed a Doodle Bug and appears to be a Model B with the Clinton engine. I suspect that it is a "real" Model B, as in one originally manufactured with the Clinton engine, but that can be verified by checking the frame's serial tag. It should say 1046B on it indicating it was "born" as a Model B that left the factory with the Clinton engine. This scooter does have the right gas tank and style of tank brackets for a Clinton motor. There should also be a "dip" in the engine mounting plate, at the front, right at the floor board and under the oil drain plug.

    It is quite complete, but there are some things to be aware of. Please don't take this as criticism or think that I'm knocking down this scooter. I own worse and have saved worse! In terms of completeness, you are missing more than just the belt guard in terms of the sheet metal parts: both the right and left side covers are also missing. Those parts are all available as superior reproductions from Yesterdays Rides Metalworks (Don Jackson). The most significant missing part is the fluid drive clutch (oil filled centrifugal clutch - look like a big aluminum mushroom) - those are hard to find and expensive parts when they do turn up. As far as I am aware those have not ever been reproduced. The Clinton kick starter assembly is missing (which includes a ratcheting starter gear) - the rope start cup is incorrect. Who knows why that was done 68 years ago. Reproduction kick start assemblies are also available from Don Jackson. You also need the air cleaner (flat Simplex mesh air cleaner) and you need the muffler with the flex pipe on it. Both of those pieces are reproduced by Don Jackson.

    In terms of incorrect items that are there, I see a number of those things as well. There should not be a hand control lever on the left side of the scooter at all. Someone added that for some reason (probably a brake) which means that there is probably a home-brew brake mechanism (or at least linkage) that I can't see very well in the photos. This means that the handlebars would need to be repaired to fix the hole. Otherwise, it's all fairly small stuff: the floor board rubber ribbing (and attachment method) is not correct, the kill switch isn't correct, the handlebar clamp is backwards (and isn't where a "real" Doodle Bug headlight would mount but I see why they did that).

    Perhaps most significantly, just by looking at the photos of the side profile of the scooter, I am almost certain the the frame is bent. What I'm seeing is that the front fork tube has been pushed in towards the rest of the scooter. When this happens, the front wheel and front fender get too close to the floor board. Often the front fender will hit the floor board when turning in a reasonable radius...that isn't supposed to happen. Yours is not as bad as some I've seen, but your scooter has definitely taken some front end hits that tweaked the frame a bit. It can be fixed - it's not cheap or easy, but if you REALLY want to save it and have the frame absolutely arrow straight to factory specs, call Don Jackson at Yesterdays Rides Metalworks in Oregon. He has a frame jig and can get your frame back to factory specs. Some new steel is will likely be involved in the process, but most of what you have looks salvageable.

    It's hard to tell if the scooter is just dusty or if there is a lot of surface rust there, but it looks like most of the original paint is pretty much gone. Still, it's pretty neat to find some so well intact after all of those years. I feel that it's at the point where it should be restored. The good news is while pretty much EVERY surface will have to be touched, you will not have to purchase very many of the major components at all. If you are interested in keeping it and/or restoring it, my suggestion would be to get in touch with Don Jackson at Yesterdays Rides Metalworks in Oregon. You can find his website via Google. It's best to call as he's fairly "old school" and not much of a computer guy (his daughter will answer emails after a few days but if you have questions or want to order something, call).

    Oh...I almost forgot...Clinton Doodle Bugs (the model B) were made in very limited numbers (1000, thought most think 650-750, tops). Beam Manufacturing company when to the Clinton due to the short supply of Briggs & Stratton NP engines (as used on the other 39,000~ Doodle Bugs). It is said that the Briggs engines were cheaper for Beam to purchase in large lots than the Clinton, but the biggest reason for the short run with Clinton was due to lubrication problems. The early Clintons had an oil pump in them driven by the cam. The problem was that the the pump was rounding off the cam lobes which starved the engine of oil. Many of them "blew up" in the hands of unsuspecting owners. I'm not sure if there was a official recall, but I know that Clinton ended up switching to a splash system with an oil dipper instead and completely scrapping the idea of using an oil pump. The dipper proved to be far more reliable, but the damage was done and Beam went back to Briggs as soon as they could.

  16. I recently found a doodle bug scooter missing only the seat and chain gaurd .curious about how much it's worth .its been sitting in a shed for along long time

    Please post a photo of your find or a link to it. Please know that I do not offer public appraisals but would love to see it.

    Value completely depends on condition and originality. If you just want to flip it, list it on eBay and see what happens. There is a collector market for good scooters and parts that are original and in good condition.

  17. I'm having a little trouble adding a picture. But I will work on it. Thanks in advance... it has no tag.


    Ok, what you have is not a Doodle Bug scooter as is being discussed in this thread here on the forum.

    What you have is a 1960s-1970s minibike of some sort. There were many brands and manufacturers back then. I can't help you much with that...not the type of machine I deal with. I'd suggest visiting oldminibikes.com where they will be able to identify what you have and work through whatever questions you might have.

  18. Danimal-

    A photo would help tremendously to identify what you have on your hands.

    It is not terribly uncommon for the frames to have been modified and/or painted over the years. The id tag was riveted to the inside edge of the fork tube, facing the engine, but they are frequently missing or illegible. Unfortunately, those were the only identification marks on the frame, nothing else was cast or stamped in. However, if your scooter does have a tag, make a note of everything it says exactly as it is stamped and let me know...I can tell you a lot about your frame based just on that little tag.

    In any case, I'd love to see a photo.

  19. Thanks Scooter Guy for the quick reply! The reason I asked about the crankshaft size is that mine is actually 1/2" and I found that quite odd. That now raises another question. Since mine apparently is for a washing machine will it work on the Doodlebug if I have it repaired? Does it have similar operating characteristics to the fluid clutches for the DB?

    As far as I can tell, the clutches are identical except for the difference in the crankshaft size they are intended for. I do know they can be repaired and the 1/2" can be refit for 5/8" to work with a Doodle Bug. Give Don Jackson a call about that. He and I have discussed exactly that operation. Every now and then he has a real fluid clutch around, too...worth asking about.

  20. The correct crankshaft size is 5/8"

    The clutches can be rebuilt and repaired by (I know I sound like a broken record here) Don Jackson at Yesterday's Rides Metalworks. He has done one for me and is going to do another for me soon.

    Also a word of caution to anyone looking for a fluid drive clutch: a similar fluid drive unit was used on washing machines (also manufactured by Beam Manufacturing), but they are 1/2" instead of 5/8" I actually purchased a washing machine fluid drive once because I got caught up in an auction and didn't carefully check the size beforehand. Oops.

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